Environmental management plan

Person holding a lightbulb, around illustrations related to the environmental issueThe Business Environmental Management Plan (PGA-E) is a tool that allows improving, in an organized manner, the environmental performance of the CNFL; since it guides and prioritizes the attention of all the significant environmental aspects, which have been identified in the different activities and productive processes of the company.

The PGAE is aligned with the strategic objective of the CNFL: "Consolidate the environmental sustainability of the company with a perspective of excellence in services and social responsibility".

The PGAE is aligned with the Environmental Policy of the CNFL and allows compliance with the provisions of Decree Nº36499-S-MINAET “Regulation for the elaboration of programs of institutional environmental management in the public sector of Costa Rica”.

The PGAE is composed of the environmental programs described below:




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C-Neutrality Program

The C-Neutrality Program of the CNFL seeks to measure and disseminate, in a transparent manner, the emissions generated in the company's operating processes and be managed responsibly according to the different emission sources.

Graph showing the CNFL carbon footprint per year.

Key years to obtain C-Neutrality Recognition

The CNFL raised the objective of being a C-Neutral company in the 100% of its operations, to date we reiterate the commitment to maintain this certification granted by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) within the Country Carbon Program Official Neutrality of the Government from Costa Rica.

In this way it seeks to optimize the use of natural resources and strengthen control of the risks inherent in changes in the climate system that affect the production and distribution of electricity (droughts, floods, tornadoes, thunderstorms).

The CNFL executes a series of actions to reduce the emissions generated in its operational processes, among which are: 

Central Valley Wind Plant LED luminaire in public lighting Electric vehicle REVA parked.


Forest representing the hectares of carbon sinks

The CNFL has a multidisciplinary team of internal verifiers, which annually identify opportunities for improvement within the C-Neutrality Program, prior to the verification process carried out by the competent Validation and Verification Body (OVV).

All the actions framed within the C-Neutrality Program allow us to offer our clients environmental benefits, a competitive business image according to the new demands of the national and regional market, with an effective participation in the mitigation of the effects of climate change, in accordance with the national policies of decarbonization of the economy and the international commitments acquired by our country in the Climate Change Summits.

As part of the commitment and actions developed by the CNFL, the removals in forest sinks located in the conservation areas of the company are calculated.

Forests are constituted by their nature and by the processes they develop, in one of the most important sinks of the planet and the CNFL has invested in the acquisition and conservation of approximately 2088 has under forest cover.

The quantification of the inventory of forest removals required the development of a robust methodology at the technical level, considering all the necessary elements to adequately estimate the total CO2 removed. 

To quantify the removals, permanent measurement plots distributed within the company's properties were established, considering the life zone and the type of forest (primary and secondary). 

For the year 2017, the inventory of forest removals quantified a total of 18.910,762 Ton / CO2.

Area of ​​a forest where an inventory of forest removals is carried out CNFL collaborator making a measurement in the forest

Permanent Measurement Plots, Daniel Gutiérrez Hydroelectric Plant.

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Image with the text: Integral Water Management Program

Graph of drinking water consumption by the CNFL per year

Integral Water Management

The program was created with the objective of recording the consumption of drinking water of the company and implementing improvement opportunities that reduce the amount of water used and thus reduce the associated costs.

When comparing the annual consumption of drinking water registered in the 2008, with respect to the annual consumption of the 2017; It is observed that the CNFL has achieved in 10 years to reduce drinking water consumption by 47,6%.

This reduction is due to the implementation of improvements, addressed in rainwater harvesting activities (water harvesting):

Dependence Installed capacity (cubic meters) Use of captured water
Transportation and Workshop Area (2013) 10 Carwash
Transformers Laboratory (2014) 10 Transformer washing
Central Valley Wind Farm (2015) 20 Food of administrative facilities
Sustainability Farm (2016) 36 Agricultural and forestry production
Civil Infrastructure Improvement Area (2017) 10 Construction


Image showing a tank for collecting rainwater Image showing the rainwater collection system

Rainwater harvesting projects (water harvest), Valle Central Wind Power Plant.

Among the measures that have been implemented within the program are:

  • Placement of approximately 100 double discharge devices.
  • Establishment of a treatment system for industrial water produced during the washing of cranes.
  • Installation of 12 filtration and disinfection systems to purify water from springs located in hydroelectric plants.
  • Placement of 6 pressure regulators in the inlet pipe on meters

Image of a double discharge device for toilets

Double discharge device for toilets.

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Image showing: Waste Management Program

Waste management

The CNFL in compliance with the current Environmental Legislation (Law for the integral management of waste No. 8839) performs a comprehensive, safe and environmentally responsible management of 100% of the waste generated in the different activities of the company in order to minimize the negative effects towards the environment.

For the 2017 year, the CNFL through the Material Transfer Center managed and finally disposed of a total of 1034 Ton waste: Iron and other metals, solids contaminated with hydrocarbons, used oil, ceramics, among others.    

Graph showing total waste from January to December 2017
Image of a crane handling waste at the Materials Transfer Center Image of a crane handling waste at the Materials Transfer Center

Waste Management Process at the Materials Transfer Center.

Output of trainers with PCB'S

Project "Integrated PCB Management in Costa Rica"

With the collaboration and coordination of the Directorate of Management and Environmental Quality (DIGECA http://www.digeca.go.cr/), who was the entity in charge of the project "Integral Management of PCBs in Costa Rica", the CNFL managed to manage the removal for treatment and final disposal of 6.2 tons of capacitors and 1.8 tons of soils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Collaborators of the CNFL performing the handling of contaminated equipment

Management of equipment contaminated with PCBs.

Final disposal pressure pipe Ventanas Hydroelectric Plant

Due to the renovation of the Ventanas Hydroelectric Plant, the pressure pipe was removed. The removal of the pipe was carried out with an authorized waste manager. In total 142.8 tons of iron were managed.

Pressure pipe removed from the Ventanas Hydroelectric Plant
Pressure pipe removed from the Ventanas Hydroelectric Plant

Pipe Replacement, Ventanas Hydroelectric Plant.

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Image with the text: Management Program for the Conservation of Ecosystems

Management for the Conservation of Ecosystems

This program seeks to manage the conservation of ecosystems in the areas where the CNFL operates, executing the measures established to prevent the affectation of wildlife. Among the measures are:

Biological monitoring in conservation areas of power generation plants.

In the conservation areas of the CNFL, nine taxonomic groups are monitored from 2009 to date, a number of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species of great biological value have been recorded for their ecosystem services and are indicators of the status of conservation. Below are the percentages of representativeness of these registered groups, in comparison with their distribution at the national level.

Graph of national representativeness of Wildlife

Registration of terrestrial wild fauna:

  • 393 species of avifauna. For example: Yellow Chest (Pitangus sulphuratus).
  • 45 mammal species. For example: Guatusa (Dasyprocta punctata).
  • 86 species of reptiles. For example: Garrobo (Ctenosaura similis).
  • 36 species of bats. For example: Artibeo from Jamaica (Artibeus jamaicensis).
  • 34 species of amphibians. For example: Shorty Frog (Agalychnis callidryas).

Danta captured with the phototrapping camera, PH Cote

Danta Tapirus bairdii captured with the camera of phototraping, Cote Hydroelectric Plant, 2014

Registration of aquatic wild fauna:

  • 86 families of aquatic macroinvertebrates. For example: trichoptera of the genus Leptonema sp.
  • 45 species of freshwater fish. For example: spotted sardinite fish (Bramocharax bransfordii).
  • 10 shrimp species. For example: shrimp (Macrobrachium heterochirus).
  • 4 crab species. For example: Crab (Potamocarcinus magnus). 

Action measures implemented to prevent affectation of wildlife.

To prevent electrocution in the electrical network:

  • 41 Arboreal fauna steps 
  • 1565 anti-scaling devices 

It shows a monkey that uses the passage of fauna placed in the Lower Balsa PH

Use of the fauna passage placed in the Lower Balsa Hydroelectric Plant

To prevent abuse and feeding: 

  • Demarcation of 24 wildlife silhouettes on the street. 
  • 29 informative posters of NO feeding wildlife and domestic and animals crossing

Silhouette of wildlife painted on the street in PH Electriona

Silhouette of wildlife in the street, Electriona Hydroelectric Plant.

To prevent collision with windows:

  • 1718 Silhouettes of birds approximately placed in windows in generation plants and campuses.

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Image with the text: Sustainable Purchases Program

Sustainable Purchases

The objective of this program is to make environmentally responsible acquisitions and purchases.

This program addresses significant environmental aspects, such as: paper consumption, consumption of materials, consumption of products and chemical substances, consumption of precursor substances, consumption of sulfuric acid, consumption of electrical materials, storage of products and chemical substances, storage of cylinders

Green label with the symbol of sustainable purchasesSustainable purchases bring a series of benefits: 

  • Improve environmental practices.
  • Reduction of costs and improvement in the efficiency of resources.
  • Environmental benefits such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing air pollution, reducing waste generation, reducing the use of water, energy and raw materials, among others.

The CNFL has a manual to fully consider environmental criteria, occupational health and safety and energy efficiency, for purchases, services or projects.

The sustainable purchasing program in the year 2017 trained a total of 76 workers, with the purpose that officials executing purchases, may include sustainability criteria and thus positively impact the environment.

Image of a person holding an incandescent light bulb in his right hand and a led luminaire in his left hand

Use purchase criteria to make more sustainable acquisitions

We collaborated in the nationalization of the sustainable purchasing norm (INTE - ISO 20400).

In the CNFL both for the training processes and for the updates of the company manual, important elements of the "Manual for the implementation of Green Purchases in the Public Sector of Costa Rica" of CEGESTI have been incorporated; and the "Sustainable Public Procurement Guide" of the Ministry of Finance.

Campaign for the rational use of paper

The CNFL in the year 2017 ratifies the Zero Paper Guideline in which actions to be implemented in the document management process, optimization of the use of technological tools and awareness for a culture change that allows less use of paper in the areas are promoted. internal processes of the company.

As part of the activities carried out to reduce paper consumption, the following are presented:

  • Product of the guideline and the campaign in the 2017 year of achievement save a total of 189 reams of paper equivalent to a saving of 6.46%, allowing to save 12 trees.
  • The process of changing printed invoice to digital invoice (Eco Invoice) was achieved, where the printing of 537.690 clients was suppressed. With the Eco invoice the following positive results were achieved:
    • Reduction of 6300 reams of annual paper consumption.
    • Avoided the felling of 393 annual trees and one tree per day.
    • 1,3 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) were stopped emitting annually.
    • 56 cubic meters of water saved per year.

Clients can request the service in the Branches, by calling 800 Energía, in the Virtual Agency, social networks.

  • The use of stickers or stickers to raise awareness among workers regarding the relationship between the use of paper and the amount of trees consumed by that use is implemented.   

Printer with the sticker of the campaign of rational use of paper

Printer with the sticker of the campaign of rational use of paper

Image showing a ream of paper

The paper saving campaign is important because for every ton of recycled paper you can:

  • Avoid cutting down 17 trees.
  • Save 15 cubic meters of water.
  • Prevents the emission of 5 tons of CO2.


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Image with text: Chemicals and Hazardous Products Management Program

Management of Chemical Substances and Hazardous Products

The objective of this program is to carry out a safe and environmentally responsible management of the chemical substances and dangerous products used in the CNFL.

Image that shows the different labels to represent chemical substances

- Every year, 18 work centers are verified where the management of the chemical substances and the dangerous products used in the production processes is corroborated in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Warehouse of flammable products and hydrocarbons of PH Belén

Warehouse of Inflammable Products and Hydrocarbons of Hydroelectric Plant Belén.

- Training is provided to internal personnel of the CNFL for the proper management of Chemical Substances, used in the different processes of the company. The training ranges from the training and interpretation of safety data sheets to the handling and handling of spills of chemical substances.

Training in Safety Data Sheets

Training in Safety Data Sheets.

- The chemical products used in the different processes of the CNFL are verified to ensure that the chemical composition is the most desirable in terms of environmental and human health.

- There is a list of banned chemicals determined by the International Center for Cancer Research (IARC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Some actions in particular are:

  • The use of chlorine as a cleaning agent is prohibited, due to the environmental and human repercussions that it presents. 
  • The Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) of the company are eliminated.

List of Controlled Chemical Substances

Compound Name

Type of products where you are

Possible effects on human health and the environment


Cleaning products, polishes, waxes, paints

Carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic

Ethoxylated nonylphenol

Cleaning products, degreasers, industrial detergents

Toxic to aquatic organisms, bioaccumulative, affects the liver

Lead compounds (lead chromate, lead oxide, others)

Refractory paints

Dermatitis, chronic ulcers, effects on the CNS and the SNP, affects the brain, kidney, blood, bone marrow, possible carcinogen, alterations in reproduction


Deodorizing tablets

Effects on CNS, affects blood, liver and kidney, possible carcinogenic, mutagenic, bioaccumulable, toxic to aquatic organisms.

Methylene chloride

Sprays, moisture eliminators, dielectric degreasers

Dermatitis, effects on the CNS, affects the liver, possible carcinogenic, dangerous for the environment


Aerosols, dielectric degreasers, solvents

Dermatitis, effects on the CNS, affects the liver, possible carcinogen, bioaccumulative


Aerosols, dielectric degreasers, solvents

Dermatitis, effects on the CNS, affects the liver, possible carcinogen, bioaccumulative

Sodium Hypochlorite

Cleaning chlorine

Carcinogenic, CNS effects, toxic to aquatic organisms

It works to attend to spills of chemical substances such as corrosive products or hydrocarbons. The latter with greater attention due to the CNFL's distribution network that has transformers with dielectric oil. The objective is to reduce the contamination of the soil and water resulting from the incident.

Collaborators of CNFL, SA attend a spill of dielectric oil

Attention of oil spill dielectric.

Other activities:

  • Work on public health issues in vector control, product of the accumulation of water in the underground electrification chambers and in solutions for the management of sewage.
  • Solutions are sought in conjunction with the doctor's office in aspects of quality of life with health surveillance protocols, such as with field personnel who apply agrochemicals within the company's facilities.

A test tube used in vector control is shown

I work in the underground network process with vector control.

Contact Information

  • Address:

    5 Avenue, 1 and 0 Street, Central Offices, San José, Costa Rica

  • Telephone:

    (506) 2295-5000 / Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm

  • Ext:

    10026-1000 San José, Costa Rica

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